LOS ANGELES – It is official. The couple of the decade is divorcing. After months of constant rumors, Kim Kardashian formally filed for divorce from rapper Kanye West, ending a six-year marriage between two of the biggest stars of this century.
The impact of the news in the United States, a country without royalty but prone to treating its celebrities as if they were, is similar to that of the split between Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie with one difference: They belonged to the elite of Hollywood while Kim and Kanye were the kings of social media.
Until then, no couple had been so exposed. The traditional model of making a union between two stars profitable was based on studied public appearances, photographs stolen by the “paparazzi” and some exclusive agreement.
But Kim Kardashian found on Instagram a mine to exploit to directly share her family moments, whether it was one of her first romantic dinners, the photo in the bathroom mirror showing her pregnancy or a video after being the victim of a robbery.
In the middle of 2012, the union of the musician and the star of the Kardashian clan was perfect for popular culture.
On the one hand, she was the “influencer” par excellence, an example to follow for a whole generation of celebrities who emerged on social networks. She learned from the first “famous for being famous”: Paris Hilton. And after years as her assistant, the leak of a sex tape and the premiere of a family “reality show” put her name on the map.
Kanye West’s fame, on the other hand, was more conventional. He is considered one of the most important rappers in history thanks to albums like “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” (2010) or “Yeezus” (2013), but his controversy ended up overshadowing the image of a cult musician.
Long before they were dating, Kim and Kanye were already big. In the reality show “Kourtney & Kim Take New York” you could see the chemistry between the rapper and the celebrity, who insisted that theirs was a friendship.
In fact, they had known each other since 2003, when coincided in a recording session (she was dating a producer) and he fell in love with her.
What went in through the eyes did not go in through the letters. Kanye didn’t really know who she was and referred to her as “Kim Kardajan” and “Kim Kar-dijon.”
As of 2012, the surname was learned and they began to be seen on fashion catwalks, NBA games and red carpet awards. The public had witnessed the collision of two media stars. Documented daily.
If her love story was lacking sass, they took care of including it. In June 2013, the couple announced that they were expecting their first daughter, named North West in a show of creativity, just one day before she divorced from Kris Humphries (72 days married and almost 20 months apart).
Then came the wedding. Up on the big stage. A pre-party at the Palace of Versailles in France and the marriage at the Forte di Belvedere in Florence in Italy.
It was the event of the year. Steve McQueen, David Blaine, Serena Williams, John Legend, and Jaden Smith stood out on the guest list. Lana del Rey and Andrea Bocelli were in charge of the music. But the plan did not convince the “rival” couple: Beyonce and Jay-Z.
All attendees signed a confidentiality pledge. You could not bust the exclusive of a family that has made a fortune of $2 billion from selling their life in all formats.
As great managers of the business of fame, the marriage had to find a new vein to exploit.
Kim joined her husband in an addictive all-out war with best-selling singer of the decade Taylor Swift, who made headlines in 2016 for a rap in which he called Swift a “bitch,” reportedly with her approval. Pure pop culture gold.
That year, during the Paris Fashion Week, she was tied up in her hotel room and was victim of a robbery valued at $11 million. She experienced several troublesome episodes and was admitted for a nervous breakdown in 2018.
The couple, with four children, continued to make headlines but no longer had full control of their fame, also worn away by the admiration declared between Kanye West and Donald Trump.
The crisis deepened when in mid-2020, the rapper presented a surreal bid for the US presidency followed by an episode of erratic behavior.
For the first time, Kim requested privacy on Instagram, the same platform on which their relationship had exploded. The day the divorce was confirmed, his posts were limited to advertising his clothing line. It is time to continue with business.